Revisiting Israel

Khalil Pansky

 

“But now Jews too have behaved like Nazis and my entire being has been shaken”- Aharon Zisling  

 

The Israeli state’s true establishment began when Plan Dalet was put into place in 1948. David Ben-Gurion’s long-awaited dream. The plan included 58 massacres which took place throughout Palestine, the forcible relocation of those remaining both outside and throughout what will become Israel, and the renaming of (almost) every part of the land as a form of “geological ethnic cleansing”, as Nur Masalha brilliantly explains. This of course wasn’t only Ben Gurion’s dream. However, from his early visits, he spoke of the need to cleanse the land of its native. The same was said by Herzl and most other Zionists who believed Palestine to be a viable land for future Israel.   

Their dream of a Jewish state for Jews was further released in 1950 when Israel instituted the “law of return” allowing any Jews, or more correctly any non-black Jews, to “return” to Israel, cementing it as an ethnostate. This was even further done three years ago when Israel passed the “Jewish nation-state law” which stated “ the right to exercise national self-determination” within Israel was afforded “unique to Jewish people”. Furthermore, it demoted Arabic from a national language. Meaning that signs within Arab areas do not require Arabic to be printed on them. Lastly, it further codified the building of settlements within (the even more illegally occupied) west bank as a national good.   

 

Israel as a state for Jews however was never truly realised for many. Israel has historically, and still, today, marginalised its non-white Jewish population. Ella Shohat famously mapped out the manner in which Mizrahi Jews have been forced to forgo their Arab selfhood for the sake of acclimating to Israel’s white-supremacist nature. Alongside its genocide of the native population, Israel undertook the cultural genocide of its non-white populations. Cultural genocide is understood as a process whereby a people’s culture is systematically and systemically eroded and eventually destroyed, in this case through direct government action. From its inception, it stole and at times sold Yemenite, Mizrahi,  and Balkan Jewish children; truly revealing its white-supremacist nature.  

Israel’s misdeeds against Jews go further, as Shlomo Sand explains; the idea of Jews as a coherent whole is one created by Zionist and proto-Zionist in their mission of creating a true ethnos. However, this ethnos fails to match historical records and erases and erodes major Jewish populations throughout the world.   

 

To understand the reason for the perpetuation of the idea of exclusively white Judaism, we must remember that Zionism is a white stealer-colonialist mission. Gurion wrote about this extensively, describing who the Zionists must use the Europeans methods to establish their own colony. This also led to the borrowing of Europe’s own but modified white supremacy. If we understand white supremacy in simplest terms as societies that have “whiteness” at the center; ones which are structured for its benefit and to ensure (and enshrine) its perpetuation at a higher socio-economic point than non-whiteness. Utilising Charles Mills’ theory from the Racial Contract, where he explains the manner in which the contractualists overlooked the racial aspect of their theory, thoughts, and actions. He goes further to outline race as such; white, off-white, and non-white (Off-white being Jews, Italian, Slavs, and Celtic people). White also encompass white Jews, off-white being non-white but non-black Jews, the margin between off and non-white being Black Jews, and finally non-white being Palestinians and other Arabs.   

 

Israel’s final fault lines in its dance with fascism. Fascism is most simply defined as “palingenetic ultranationalism”. Those are both brilliant words, however, they may be unfamiliar or vague to many. Palingenesis is the idea of the great rebirth of a people. Remember here that genesis conjuring up thoughts of Christian creation and the day of judgment is not a mistake. The general idea is that once our people were great but the “other” has destroyed it for us and now we are in ruins. However, if we struggle we are capable of returning to this greatness. Ultranationalism is pretty self-explanatory, it is the idea that national identity is (if not the most important) extremely important. This maps perfectly onto Israel and Zionism. We (the Jews) once great are now not and the other (the Arabs) wish to destroy us. However, we can defeat them. The part of ultranationalism is obvious to anyone who has been in Israel. Or to be honest, almost anyone who has spoken to two Israelis.   

However, we must remember that fascism as George Jackson points out, is reactionary revolutionism. If you remember Coraline, it’s like the other world in relation to revolutionism. It is a tainted mirror image. Jackson’s main meaning here is that it evolves and changes with time. If we try to look at Zionist fascism like Italian fascism we will fail.  

 

Image source: http://cojs.org/declaration_of_israel-s_independence-_may_14-_1948/

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